Bio / Esa Pitkänen

Esa Pitkänen, PhD, is a FIMM-EMBL Group Leader and an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Helsinki.

He received his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Helsinki under supervision of Prof. Juho Rousu and Prof. Esko Ukkonen. He holds the title of Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki. Dr. Pitkänen completed two postdoctoral periods, first with Prof. Lauri Aaltonen at the University of Helsinki, and second with Dr. Jan Korbel and Dr. Oliver Stegle at European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg. In 2019, he was appointed as FIMM-EMBL Group Leader at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, HiLIFE. Since 2019, he has been a Fellow of the Research Council of Finland. Dr. Pitkänen is also a principal investigator in the Applied Tumor Genomics Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki.

Dr. Pitkänen’s research group Machine Learning in Biomedicine develops novel machine learning and computational methods for biomedicine. The group focuses on deep learning with emphasis on integrative and scalable multimodal techniques for large-scale biomedical data. Specific application areas are cancer genetics and genomics, mutational processes in cancer and hematological malignancies. He is leading data science efforts in the iCAN Digital Precision Cancer Medicine Flagship, which aims at integrating molecular profiling, clinical and health registry data of 10,000 cancer cases.